I didn't plan for Chen Taiji to become my practice, let alone teach it. I started and just kept going. It happened naturally. Along the way, it helped me feel relaxed, grounded and focused. Just because it's slow, doesn't make it easy. And just because there's lots to remember, doesn't make it hard. Finish the form, then start again. Try something new, then breakthrough. I hope to introduce this accessible, healing art to whomever wants to discover what is possible through joy, curiosity and diligent practice.
I took my first Chen Taiji class in 2005. Then I quit after a year to pursue other interests. Years later, fate called me back to class, and I have been practicing consistently since 2012. I believe the practice of taiji is a lifelong journey of discovery. That means unexpected stops, detours as well as coming full circle. With encouragement from my teacher, Sifu Wong Wai Yi (Tony), I began teaching in 2015.
When I was seven, I wanted to be a Ninja Turtle, but the karate and kung fu classes aimed at kids - with the yelling and shouting - scared me away. So the dream remained hidden until adulthood when I finally found a style that fit me. What called me to martial arts was the discipline, focus and precision. What made taiji so attractive was the hidden power within the calm. It's simplicity and depth. The mystical forces of yin and yang... Just like in the movies! "The force runs strong in my family..."
Chen Taijiquan is the only martial art I've ever studied. The only style of taiji I've ever studied. I've trained with the same teacher from the beginning, so that is to say I don't have the "usual" martial arts résumé. With any luck, someday I'll study with a Grandmaster. Someday, I'll visit Chen Village, the birthplace of taiji. But for now, I just love practicing. It is this spirit of enjoyment and curiosity that I hope to bring to my classes and to my students.